Red-White Quotes

Reggie Smith (pictured), Bob Stoops, Adrian Peterson, Rhett Bomar and others talk about the spring game.


On the teams' performance

"I liked it today. I thought, overall, up until real late we handled the ball in a good way. I thought the offensive line was fighting in a pretty good way for the most part.

I was really pleased defensively. I thought our structure was really good. Our guys really understand what we want them to do, and our understanding and recognition against the offense has really improved. They really understand what they need to do.

"Again, our offense is at a disadvantage in that the defense is going against them every single day, and that gives them a lot of recognition that really helps the defense.

"Again, overall I was pleased."

On the improved play of the secondary

No question. The biggest difference with the backers and secondary is recognition of plays and their closing ability has improved extremely. It's been obvious to me since Day 1.

"We just have nothing to compare it to what we are like now and what we were. We have to keep building because we have a chance to be really good. They have great ball skills. We have a chance, I think, overall, to be really good.

"A guy like Reggie (Smith) out there at the corner, as you can see, is exceptional. He has exceptional ability and understanding out there."

On if he anything troubled him from today's game

Everything troubles me. You have to get better at everything. That's why you practice. We still have three god days next week to get a lot of work down. We'll come out here Thursday and have another 45-play scrimmage to finish out.

On Paul Thompson's impressive day at receiver

"I think it's just natural — the more he plays he gets more comfortable at that position. It takes time. I loved it today watching Paul make big plays. And on a couple of them Reggie had great coverage on him. But he' such a long and strong guy, so he's able to pull the ball down.

"I do anticipate that he will be able to improve on doing that and make plays."

On the play of the offensive line

"I think they did a pretty good job overall. They did a solid job for the most part."

On if he feels good about the offensive line

"I don't know if I feel good about it, but I feel good about the fact that each week all of them are there every day and work hard every day. I never see one of them trying to get out of any kind of drill. They are all in there battling.

"They've had a ton of snaps this spring that are going to make them better, and I think they are looking at it that way. And they are improving."

On the pass rush today

I didn't evaluate it very much because we were very basic in everything we did. I told Chris (Wilson), "Hey, I don't want to see those seniors out here anymore. They're pretty darn good. I've seen them enough.'

"I don't want something freaky happen like with Dusty last year. So we got some of those guys out of there. I wanted to have Rufus out of there sooner than he did, but Brent gets greedy."

On the punting situation and Mike Knall replacing Freeby

"We will see. Mike needs to continue to get better and continue to improve. We're going to start working Garrett (Hartley) more as a punter. He punted three years in high school.

"And then in the spring when we are out recruiting, we're going to try to find out if there are any other possibilities out there.

On Garrett Hartley hitting two 43-yard field goals

"Yeah, he has a big leg. He went tout there today and he hit them all. He's a good kicker. I think Garrett will continue to improve.

On walk-on quarterback Hays McEachern as the holder

"Hays does a good job holding. We had him holding the whole bowl practice. I kept saying, "Hays how come I haven't had you dong that the whole year?' It gives us a lot of options on fakes with him back there."

On Joey Halzle's three interceptions

"Joey's had a lot of good days. Today, he just had some guys make some plays on him. Remember, the guy's only been here what 12 practices? So that's not a lot. We are really pleased with Joey.

"He has a good understanding, a good arm and he just needs to keep getting snaps and getting reps to get better. He's got a chance to really help us."

On whose idea it was to paint Adrian Peterson's numbers blue, instead of having him wear a blue jersey to signify that he wasn't to be tackled

"It was mine. He can't stand wearing that blue jersey. I appreciate it his toughness, so I told 'Tippy' (Equipment manager Greg Tipton) to just paint his numbers blue so he doesn't look like a total sissy out there.

"I don't think our quarterbacks are sissy's, but we're not going to get them hit and we're not going to get AD hit. So he came back once and he was mad because I only gave him one yard on a carry. 'Coach, you're not respecting me enough.' I said, 'Hey, nobody respects you more than I do. Don't worry about it, you're going to get plenty of yards.'

"That (blue numbers) was just a way he could keep his pride and not be totally dressed in blue."


On Adrian Peterson's play

"I think he's going to play at a great level, because I think some of his great practice habits and attention to detail will make him a stronger player."

On getting Peterson involved in the passing game

"I think his hands are pretty good. If we throw it to you can you catch it and make a competitive play? That being said, the ball had a chance to get to him a coupe of times today.

"The nice thing about getting better offense is that he could've ran through four or five or six different arm tackles. If you are on flair route or in the flat, it's just him on a safety, and if he gets that guy missed now he's on the corner and the potential for some big plays are there.

"How much that comes in the fall, we haven't decided exactly. We're still trying to establish the passing game out of the backfield.

On what he hopes the offense can establish over the final three practices

"It would be ice to have a good film day on Monday to understand some game situations because so many times in practice we would get in the huddle and call the next play. Now we have a drive going and here's a glitch that got us behind the chains, or here's a competitive play that we can make. But basically, as an offense, you're stopping yourself. There's always going to be a little out of sync offensively. You're never perfect so it would be nice to have a teaching day.

"Today was a practice game, so we can learn a lot from this. We have a lot of young guys who haven't been in a lot of games yet. And if they've been in games, they still haven't been the guy in games. They've been part-time guys. We're getting a lot of good competition and staying healthy. So it would be good next week to have three good days to go at it.

"We had a lot of good momentum going into winter and we'd like to have a good up-note to finish up the summer in the right way."

On how he would rate the performance of the offense today

"Fair or below average. I don't know, you're trying to score every time on every drive and we're out of sync sometimes. And the nature of offense was we were pretty conservative.

"I like where we're going, I liked the way we looked. We're trying to sell an attitude, a demeanor and a mindset. I think we're headed there but we've got a ways to go to be where we want to be.

"I'm not concerned, but not exactly pleased. But I like what I see and where we're at."


On the defensive effort today

"I like the competitive nature of them — the way they went after it and stayed focused and competed. I thought the attitude was really good from start to finish."

On what he wants the defense to accomplish over the final three practices

"Consistency. We're still learning and trying to get the defense down, being sound in technique and fundamentals. We're trying to get it to carry over in to the summer sessions and trying to develop a trust amongst one another.

"There's a lot of competing and guys are still fighting for jobs and opportunities to get on the field.

On he would grade the defenses performance today

"We had a few busts and some mental mistakes, but overall I would say a B. We can see a lot of things we need to work on to improve to play at a championship caliber. As I said, we've got a lot of young guys that have a lot to learn.

"Fortunately, we have enough time to iron out some little things that are easily correctable, and I feel we have a base to build on to become a very solid defense."


On wearing a red jersey with the numbers painted blue, instead of a blue jersey like the quarterbacks

"No, I can't do that."

On the defense not being able to tackle him

"I wasn't really frustrated. But the little touches and calling me down on a couple of plays kind of made me upset a little bit.

On how he though he played

"I did alright. When it's not really full contact you can't get a gauge."

On his spring

"Just being able to go through spring and knock some of the rust off and being back out there is going to help me improve my game a lot."

On catching three passes out of the backfield

"Like I've been telling you, I can catch the ball. You've just got to throw it to me. Everybody drops a couple of passes every now and then, but I have to keep focus on getting my hands better and hopefully that will contribute to the team."

On coming out of the spring healthy, and if that will change his approach to the summer

"Definitely, because I'm back to full speed. I'm able to go out there go full speed instead of sitting back and nursing my ankle."


On his play in the scrimmage

"I thought I did alright today. It's not a very good way to end it, on an interception. But I felt the ball just got a way from me. It was the right read and I had the guy open, it just kinda sailed on me. It's kind of a bad deal, but other than that I had a productive day.

"I thought we moved the ball pretty well. We had one really good drive with a touchdown, and other than that we've got the guy with the blue numbers (Adrian Peterson) and we were in second and 10 a lot because of that. In games, we won't have to face that situation. It's kind a disheartening and everything, but other than that it was an alright day."

On moving the chains some despite the vanilla offensive gameplan

"Yeah, we had some good drives. I ran about three or four boots, rollouts and those didn't work well for us today. It worked in the scrimmages pretty well, but keep in mind we're not showing everything.

"We'll show much more in the fall, but we had our package we were going into today with and we stuck to that. There was a call for a lot of drop-back game and under center drop-back game."

On the defense knowing what they're running

No doubt. You've got to try to be creative with the way you run formations because they get used to it and they're smart guys. The coaches are smart guys and so are our players. They are a great defense, but for the most part were we successful against them today."

On his approach knowing he is the guy this spring as opposed to last year

"It's a lot better. It makes it easier to come out and have more fun, and just have the confidence to know that you're going in as the guy and play your game. And not worry about if I make a mistake the coaches are watching me. I can just put it behind me and run the next play."

On the success they had throwing to Peterson out of the backfield

No doubt. He hasn't been through any springs, but this one he wanted to improve on being a pass catcher out of the backfield and blocking. One of the first two screens, I felt, he could've took a long way if he didn't have the blue numbers. A little hand tackle is not going to tackle Adrian. So those would've been successful for us, and that's what we're going to do in the fall.

"We are going to start using the back out of the backfield a lot more. He might be the second or third read, but we're still going to use him. If the defense drops back into coverage, I feel like I can scramble around and get it to a back coming out of the backfield."

On the threat of Peterson catching passes out of the backfield opening up other things passing lanes in the offense

"Yeah, if he's coming out of the backfield the flat defender will play him and maybe something will be open downfield. And that's what we're looking for. If they drop back we'll dump it off to the back."

On his confidence in the huddle with Adrian Peterson and Allen Patrick at running back

"I can just hand the ball off to them and it makes my job a lot easier. I know that I can throw it to them on a three -yard screen and they can take it 50.

On if the fact that they didn't throw to the tight ends much today was by design

"It wasn't by design. As I've said, we didn't have a broad package today. We held some stuff back. We had a couple verticals thrown to them, but he defense covered it different. You've got to read it out, you can't just throw to them automatically.

"I tried to fit one in to Joe Jon and we should've had that. Unfortunately, we couldn't hook up. But that will be there during the season.

On how much has changed from one spring to the next with more experience and a bowl victory under his belt

"I feel totally different this year than last year. When you have experience under your belt, it makes it a whole lot different. You can't learn until you play because last spring I only did so much and this spring I'm getting more opportunities.

"It gives me an opportunity to learn game speed and get into a flow. I felt, in the middle of last season, I got accustomed to that and then from then on I got more comfortable. Looking at and reading the defense, I feel totally more comfortable now."


On his play today

"I thought I did pretty well. I was frustrated with the punt (lost fumble) at the end. I got a little ahead of myself I wanted to run with the ball before I caught it, but I think I'm doing fine.

On getting into a groove at corner, and if the game slowed down since last year

"I think I got the speed down a little more and know what to expect at crucial times."

On the play of the secondary

"I think we did well. I think we're getting real solid as a group. Last year, we were inconsistent because we didn't know who was going to be at corner or who was going to be at safety. I think we're a little bit more solid because we know what each other person can do and what they can bring to the game."

On how he graded himself on punt returns

"I would give it an a plus except for the last punt return. I took my eyes off of it and started running before I caught it. I guess if you include that, I'll give it a B+ or an A-.

"I thought I did alright today. I could've done better."

On defense as a whole and how it's come along

The front seven's always been good, and we're coming on in the secondary. I think if we put our good secondary in there, coupled with the front seven, we'll be a good defense this year."

"I'm glad we have more depth than we did last year, because last year we didn't know who was going to be playing from one week to the next."

On the defense winning the scrimmage

Yes, I'm happy about that because Coach Wright always preaches us to get interceptions and create turnovers. We had to do well to shut him up for a couple of days."

On what he'll look to accomplish over the last three practices

"Really just trying to break on routes and know where to be at certain times. I think we're doing a pretty good job of it, but I think we can improve on breaking on routes and being aggressive."

DJ Wolfe:

On the scoring system

It was pretty good experience in that it wasn't just one sided, not just offensive scoring. I think that was a little more incentive for the defense to play well.

On how the secondary did

We feel like it was a good game both ways, offensively and defensively. They got that one series on us early but after that we really buckled down a little bit.

On his comfort level after a year at cornerback

It feels pretty good. I was comfortable in that I knew what was coming, you know and that I've been there and the coaches prepared us really well.

On teaming with Reggie Smith at corner

It's a very good combination. I like it a lot. I look forward to working alongside of him and the other D-Backs.

On the secondary as a unit.

I think the more practice time we get and the more we get to gel, the better it is for all of us.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories